My latest book, You Are Not Needed Now, is a collection of short stories about what happens after you realize that the world can carry on just fine without you. It’s not that these characters don’t matter, exactly. They’re just having a year or six where the sheer size of the world becomes overwhelming.
Also, the dead are full of complaints.
These stories run back and forth across the boundary of the strange. Some are as fully anchored in the real as anything I’ve written is. Others are having some trouble getting a grip.
The dead drop by during the night, just to cry and watch television. A pregnant woman finds body parts while cleaning out a neighbour’s house. A laid-off sex worker discovers the potential of square-dance clothes. A cross-country bus trip hookup turns permanent. Some parents can’t be trusted with dentistry. A Sunday school class falls in love with their teacher. A civil servant’s love of home decor websites leads to sex crimes. A single father is attacked by porcupines. S&M fetishists help rescue an apartment full of small creatures, but not, unfortunately, the goldfish. An arsonist is given too many stuffed animals. And then there’s the severed hands.